H&R Block launches remote service, augments in-office tax prep for U.S. citizens living, working abroad
H&R Block tax experts to help expats meet deadline and foreign accounts compliance
The United States is the only developed country that levies income taxes based on citizenship versus just residency. For the more than 6 million “expats” – Americans living abroad – the world’s largest tax preparation company launched a new remote service to help these taxpayers comply with their federal tax obligations. H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) is the only company that can serve this unique taxpayer in an office abroad or via a new remote service by their June 17 filing deadline.
H&R Block also launched a microsite for expats that answers many questions and outlines the filing responsibilities for those with dual citizenship and those who are working or retired abroad.
“Taxes can be confusing enough. Throw in the additional complexity of residing or working abroad and the simplest of tax situations can become more complicated,” said Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “Whether the taxpayer has dual citizenship, works abroad or has retired to a tropical island paradise, H&R Block and its new microsite are here to help in-person and online.”
Expats can have their U.S. tax returns completed by H&R Block tax experts in an H&R Block office in more than 14 countries and U.S. territories. In addition, they can now work with a tax professional, using the company’s remote service. The remote service is a secure option that includes a customized interview to ensure an accurate return is prepared. Plus, all the benefits of an H&R Block office experience are available, including accuracy guarantees and the opportunity for free Second Look®reviews of past returns.
Know the filing requirements
U.S. citizens who meet the minimum income requirement – $19,500 for married filing jointly and $9,750 for single filers – are required to file a federal tax return regardless of where they live, even if all of their income was earned in a foreign country. Some taxpayers working abroad may be able to exclude some foreign income and claim a credit for foreign taxes paid on their U.S. tax return, which could offset any taxes owed to the United States.
Many expats also may have foreign bank or retirement accounts. The IRS recently announced it is working closely with United Kingdom and Australian officials to identify accounts held by Americans who may have a reporting requirement. The foreign bank account reporting form (FBAR) must be submitted to the Department of Treasury by June 30, but the information also may need to be included with the tax return on Form 8938, which is due earlier in the month.
“H&R Block’s expat tax experts have deep knowledge of the U.S. tax code in addition to the filing needs of this unique taxpayer,” said Kevin Mobley, director of international marketing at H&R Block. “We are bringing this expertise to the front door of every expat via our remote service.”
Taxpayers working abroad who are not able to file an accurate return by June 17 can submit a tax filing extension to make their filing deadline Oct. 15. While penalties are not assessed, interest accrues on any balance due from the April 15 filing deadline.
To find an international H&R Block office, visit expats.hrblock.com or call 800-HRBLOCK.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest tax services provider. More than 600 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2012, H&R Block had annual revenues of $2.9 billion with 25.6 million tax returns prepared worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided in company-owned and franchise retail tax offices by approximately 90,000 professional tax preparers, and through H&R Block At Home™ digital products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable banking products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Online Press Center.
About The Tax Institute at H&R Block
The Tax Institute at H&R Block is the go-to source for objective insights about federal and state tax laws affecting the individual. It provides nonpartisan information and analysis about the real world implications of tax policies and proposals to policymakers, journalists, experts and tax preparers. The Institute’s experts include CPAs, Enrolled Agents, tax attorneys and former IRS agents. Building off more than 10 years of research and analysis from a specialized tax research group at H&R Block, the company launched The Tax Institute in 2007.